Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett faces a tough battle in taking on ingrained, multigenerational issues involving homelessness, poverty, education and crime. But in his State of the City address, he vowed to try.
City-County Council Vice President Zach Adamson, along with fellow Democrat Monroe Gray, will propose on Monday raising council members’ pay from $11,400 per year to $25,000 per year.
The move is a win for Mayor Joe Hogsett, who originally faced skepticism from council Republicans over the decision to borrow for big-ticket items by renewing bonds that are about to expire.
Ratings service Moody’s said Indianapolis’ ability to maintain a AAA rating on $78.6 million of general obligation debt reflects a “healthy financial position despite continued draws on reserves to support ongoing operations and capital maintenance.”
Both Indianapolis Republicans and Democrats want to spend $20 million on infrastructure, but the question is about how to fund it.
The deal, which still needs to be approved by the full council, would give the city $45,000 per year in franchise fees.
The Hogsett administration’s proposal is to take big-ticket items out of the city’s operating budget to help resolve a persistent budget deficit. Republicans worry about taking on the debt.
The city of Indianapolis has raised income taxes twice in the last nine years to raise money to hire more police but it still has fewer officers.
The office will likely remain in the 25,000-square-foot, privately owned building at 521 W. McCarty St. the next two years while the city explores whether to move the office or have a building constructed.
The city aims to spend $12.7 million less than it did last year in an effort to begin reducing the structural deficit.
Most of the special disbursement has to be spent on transportation funding, but the city can decide what to do with 25 percent of its $53 million distribution.
In his first State of the City address, Mayor Joe Hogsett said Wednesday that crime problems wouldn’t be solved simply with a new building. A new task force also would focus on issues like mental illness and addiction.
Repairing the city’s aging sidewalks and installing new ones where none exist would run even more than the $720 million it cost to build Lucas Oil Stadium.
The motion to overturn the veto failed 14-10, despite pleas from council members who say the body has not had a pay raise in nearly 15 years.
There are 27 pay periods in 2015 for employees paid bi-weekly instead of the usual 26. That means the city had to come up with extra cash to make payroll.